Texas university systems request $1 billion in exchange for a two-year freeze on tuition for all undergraduates, outlined in a letter to state lawmakers according to a Dallas Morning News article which report,
“The leaders of Texas’ six biggest university systems want lawmakers to funnel nearly $1 billion into higher education as the Legislature considers what to do with the $32.7 billion state surplus.
In exchange for more state funding, the system chancellors are vowing to hold tuition rates flat across their schools for all undergraduates for the next two years.
The six system leaders outlined a series of investment propositions to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dade Phelan and two legislative budget writers in a December letter, according to a copy obtained by The Dallas Morning News.”
The letter of request was sent to legislative leaders in December. The request comes at a time when Texas has a $33 billion budget surplus according to a Forbes article. They say,
“The letter was signed by James Milliken of the University of Texas System, John Sharp of the Texas A&M University System, Renu Khator of the University of Houston System, Michael R. Williams of the University of North Texas System, Tedd Mitchell of the Texas Tech University System and Brian McCall of the Texas State University System.
The chancellors’ request comes at a time when Texas enjoys an unexpected and historic budget surplus of $33 billion, thanks to surging state revenues. With the surplus, Texas has $188.2 billion it can spend over the next two years, 26% more than the last biennium.”
The chancellors in the letter argue that without more state funding, universities in Texas will have to raise tuition and fees to maintain high-quality education, and they are calling for increased state investment to keep tuition flat for students and families.